Chesterton Tribune



Duneland Schools are 'protest neutral' in planned student walkout

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Duneland Schools Superintendent Ginger Bolinger released a letter on Friday to the parents of students on the subject of school safety.

In that letter Bolinger indicates that the administrators and staff will take no official position on students’ plans to hold one or more walk-outs over the next month to protest current gun laws as well as to remember the victims of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.

Bolinger also announces in that letter that grade-appropriate school safety activities will be held in the Duneland Schools beginning on April 16.

The text of Bolinger’s letter:

“The tragedy in Broward County recently and other losses of life on school campuses across the nation over several years have driven increased interest in student-led civic engagement efforts and actions, including the idea of school walkouts. Duneland School Corporation supports students’ Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression. Our goal in responding to walkout plans and other forms of peaceful assembly is to try and keep focus on teaching and learning while providing guidance and planning to support student and staff safety.

“Based on social media messaging, it appears that there are at least three major student-led efforts underway:

March 14: Call for school walkout for 10 minutes, @WomensMarch Action

March 24: March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., @AMarch4OurLives

April 20: National School Walkout for students across nation in local districts, @schoolwalkoutUS

“The mission of our school corporation is to provide a quality education and develop lifelong learners who demonstrate responsibility, contribute to their community, and succeed in a changing world. School personnel will remain protest neutral in the planned walkouts and other civic movements. We will rely on our student handbook, school board policy, and legal precedent to maintain a safe and orderly environment in our schools.

“In order to continually emphasize our safety procedures and honor our commitment to student safety, we have planned a school safety week. Beginning on April 16, activities developmentally appropriate for grade levels will be conducted during the school day by school personnel. Such activities may include the following:

* Administrators and School Resource Officers presenting in a town-hall format.

* Scheduling a safety drill each day of the week: Tornado, Fire, Lockdown, Lockout, etc.

* Viewing the One County One Protocol video (middle and high school only).

* Scheduling a presentation by local and county law enforcement.

* Broadcasting morning announcements in all classrooms with different safety topics.

“We have excellent students, who are instructed by exceptional faculty members, and supported by outstanding staff members and administrators. We are thankful for our parental and community support. So that all students and employees may remain safe while on school grounds, please assist our school corporation by discussing the information contained in this document with your child.”



Posted 3/12/2018










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